Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween 2012

Happy Halloween!

 We don't vary much from year to year. 
This year we had a K-State football player, a cowgirl, a princess and a cowgirl princess. 

 Kassidy got to wear Karolyn's first cowgirl shirt and chaps. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

The American Girl Doll Magazine

We got the famous American Girl Doll magazine in the mail a couple of weeks ago. Karolyn and Kaylee have been looking through it all week long. Do you know the prices on some of those doll toys??? Let's just say that when Karolyn said she really wanted a horse stall from the magazine and I looked at the price, I about fainted. Luckily, she has one pretty cool dad who is willing to put in a lot of time and effort to make his kiddos happy. Shawn took Karolyn with him on a trip to Fleet Farm and picked up some lumber so they could build her own horse corral. All it took was a few boards, hinges and some hooks.

 Karolyn using the air nailer.

 Shawn even found some time to hunt and got his limit of geese on Saturday morning.

 Working on the corral and showing off the 5 ducks he got Sunday morning before church.

The finished product! 
It even has collapsible sides so it came be folded up and stored when it's not being used.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Final Veggie Freezing Session

Do you remember this picture from last weekend?

Well, most of that produce is now in my freezer waiting for to be added to meals this winter.

 5 quart bags of brussel sprouts.

 3 stuffed gallon bags of cauliflower. The kids ate quite a bit of cauliflower this week!

 3 gallon bags of lettuce and a salad for supper this week.

 The kids helped chop up the spinach while we listened to The Family Robinson on the laptop. I'm all for multi-tasking and my kids love any chore involving sharp knives.

 The girls washing up bok choy.

 Chopping up bok choy. We'll be having lots of yummy stir fry recipes this winter. Yes, that is chocolate syrup on the table. I think we had ice cream for dessert. :) We believe in balancing healthy food with sugar packed food!

 Kolsen washing up the garlic.

 1 gallon of kale, 2 gallon bags of spinach and 3 gallon bags of bok choy.

 2 stuffed gallon bags of cabbage.

 And these two 5 gallon buckets are still in my garage. We've been eating a kohlrabi each day and the cabbage will last for quite a while before I need to finish processing it. I'm sure we'll enjoy some coleslaw and other dished before I need to freeze these.

I'll also leave most of the potatoes (a 5 gallon bucket full from previous picks) in the garage until it gets too cold for them. I don't have much room left in my freezer for bulky food, so we'll have to eat some our other food before I add the hash browns and mashed potatoes.

 2 ice cream buckets of garlic turned into 2 pint jars of dehydrated garlic. I still have the last batch dehydrating in the garage tonight. Dehydrating definitely saves space, but it's a little sad looking at that little jar of garlic and all the work it took to get it. I don't think we'll be doing garlic next year because it was a LOT of messy work.

I also made some apple butter with some organic apples I ordered.

 I still have two boxes of apples left from my Azure Standard order this month. We ate most of the first box and I'm sure these will disappear pretty fast. My kids love fruit! (and veggies) I was going to make some apple sauce with these, but I think I'll wait and see how many we eat and then make the apple sauce in a few weeks.

Overall, I'm really glad that produce season is over and we'll have the chance to eat up some of the yummy foods we have preserved.

When I say my freezers are stuffed full of yummy food, I mean STUFFED!

 The bottom basket is meat, but the rest is all veggies from our CSA picks!

 Our chest freezer is almost full too! 
This has a few chickens and ducks in it, but the rest is all veggies and fruit that we froze this year.

 One of my favorite rooms in our new house was the storage room with lots of shelving. All of my crafting supplies are on one wall and then the other wall has extra food storage for all my full canning jars. The left, bottom stack are empty, but the rest are full!

Whew! I'm so thankful that we have such a wonderful CSA where we can get quality produce to feed our family. Now it's freezer cooking season!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Art Decor

The kids worked on some pumpkin art this week and it turned out really well.
Shawn brought me home some beautiful flowers. I love that man!
The squash in the container is still left from our CSA box.

Monday, October 22, 2012

I'm Blessed

I'm blessed today that I am able to spend the day with my beautiful children. I'll be holding them close and giving them lots of hugs today as we do school. I am so thankful to God for each and every day that he has given me. This hit home for our family this week as our church family is dealing with the loss of a beautiful, sixth grade girl who was in a terrible car accident and went home to be with Jesus earlier this morning. We will be continually praying for this single mom and siblings as they deal with this tragedy.

Psalm 27:4
One thing I ask of the Lord,
this is what I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord
and to see him in his temple.

Thank you Gretchen for posting your Blessings each week.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

No More Veggies

No more veggies for us until next year. We had our last box pick-up on Tuesday and Bluebird Gardens had their final harvest day for the 2012 season today.

This was our haul! I think we picked a little of everything they had left except beets. 

We ended up with:

 5 gallon bucket of cauliflower

 5 gallon bucket of kohlrabi

 LOTS of cabbage

 A bag of kale and lettuce.

 A few radishes.

 brussel sprouts

Spinach and two bags of bok choy (the bok choy is on the left)

Shawn's favorite - GARLIC!

Kolsen and I have been busy working all afternoon on washing, chopping and freezing up our stash of veggies. I'll share pictures of what it looks like all cleaned up later in the week. Between homeschooling and evening activities every evening this week, we are going to be really busy. I'm pretty sure that school this week will be at the kitchen table. Kolsen managed to wash and chop up all the cauliflower and radishes and I froze the brussel sprouts. Three things down and a lot to go!

Shawn and the girls were busy working on a surprise project out in the garage and Karolyn can hardly wait to finish so I can share pictures! 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Karolyn Crafting

This girl LOVES to craft. I'm pretty sure she could hear me turn on my sewing machine from a block away. Whenever I craft she is always wanting to help or start her own project.

This was her latest project Nana Kristi sent her in the mail. She did a great job sewing and I helped with pinning and ironing.

A close up of the water bottle holder. 
I think it turned out super cute, and the next time we make one it will be lots easier.

This was baby quilt she sewed together last week. I gave her a pack of pre-cut squares and she did her own  layout, pinning, sewing and ironing. We'll have to make friends with someone having a baby girl, because she loves sewing baby quilts.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Papa's Little Fish

Even though we live far away from our parents we try to keep our kids connected to them. When we aren't visiting KS or having visitors here my kids talk on the phone to both sets of grandparents multiple times a week. (Thank goodness for unlimited long distance!) And I love being able to share the kids activities and pictures on the blog with them and all our friends and family. We also appreciate that our parents love to help the kids sign up for fun  activities that we may not have signed them up for. We have been truly blessed.

We can't wait to show off our new swimming skills for the next set of visitors! Papa has created some cute, little fish with these Foss swim lessons!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Hey Nana

Hey Nana! 
Thanks for the new velvet shirt. 
I think she really likes it.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Three Great Hunters

 Kolsen and Karolyn enjoy getting up while it's still dark and cold to go hunting with Shawn. They went to our friend's land near Ashby and had a great time. Shawn got 4 ducks, Kolsen didn't get any this time and Karolyn enjoyed shooting the decoys with her b.b. gun. The kids even got to have hot chocolate up at our friend's house when they finished hunting!

Kolsen showing off a wood duck that he brought home. Three different people shot at this duck so we aren't sure who actually shot it. Shawn and Kolsen got to go hunting with one of Kolsen's friends and his father. I'm sure they'll be going to hunt together again soon.

Shawn's been hunting a few more times besides this, but I don't always remember to get pictures. Our freezer is definitely filling up with duck for this winter!

Saturday, October 13, 2012


This little girl is always dancing and singing! 
Today she got to perform at the Minnesota State Spartans halftime. 
Here is her whole dance for the Nana's and Papa's.

They've only been practicing for about a month!
The girl wearing the turquoise shirt in the middle, front row is our neighbor.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Fall Harvest

We were all really busy today! Shawn took off with Abby really early in the morning to go duck hunting. The kids and I decided to sleep in until 7:30 and then we spent the morning out at Bluebird Gardens picking our fall produce. We had four tickets left from our CSA share and we used them all today. We also managed to do some raking with our small group, pizza, and a trip to a friend's house for dinner and duck scouting. Whew! I'm hoping tomorrow will be a little bit more relaxing.

 The kids and I with most of our vegetable haul.  
We gave a bunch of it away to families in our Bible study group. 

We ended up with:
20 gallons of potatoes
5 gallons of carrots
8 carving pumpkins
11 pumpkin pie pumpkins
1 spaghetti squash
8 kohlrabi
1 gallon of brussel sprouts

I think I'll be spending most of Sunday in the kitchen baking up the pumpkins and freezing them. I'll also slice/shred up the carrots to freeze for soups, scrambled eggs, and casseroles this winter.

 Shawn, supporting his family by providing some meat!
Hopefully, on Monday morning when he takes Kolsen he'll have more luck.

 The kids already got the brussel sprouts off the plants.

mmm...brussel sprouts. I can't wait to serve these for lunch tomorrow.